Franklin County, Ohio – OVI Penalties, First Degree Misdemeanor

Charge: OVI, First Degree Misdemeanor (maximum 180 days in jail and $1,000 fine).

Facts: Client was pulled over for allegedly bringing his vehicle to a complete stop on a Columbus highway, and for a marked lanes traffic violation after he allegedly drove outside marked lanes on a public road. Client was subjected to several field sobriety tests (FST’s) by law enforcement officers. Client performed the FST’s in part. After refusing one of the FST’s, the client was arrested for drunk driving, taken to the police station and asked to take a breathalyzer test. Client refused to take the breathalyzer test.This was Client’s 2nd OVI offense within 6 years and, therefore, he was facing the possibility of 20 days in jail if convicted.

Result: At the arraignment, Client received an offer to serve 10 days in jail in exchange for his guilty. After turning down the offer, I pled my client not guilty and decided to continue negotiations with the assistant prosecutor assigned to the case. After filing a motion to suppress and continued negotiations, I was successful in obtaining an offer from the assistant prosecutor for a stipulated 1st OVI offense with 1st OVI penalties, in exchange for Client’s guilty plea. Client was sentenced to serve 3 days in a Driver Intervention Program (DIP) and spent no time in jail for the OVI offense.

Franklin County, Ohio – Reduction of OVI charge, First Degree Misdemeanor

Charge: OVI, First Degree Misdemeanor (maximum 180 days in jail and $1,000 fine).

Facts: Client was pulled over for a marked lanes traffic violation after he allegedly drove outside marked lanes on a public road. Client was subjected to several field sobriety tests (FST’s) by the officer. After performing the FST’s, the client was arrested for drunk driving, taken to the police station and asked to take a breathalyzer test. Client refused to take the breathalyzer test.

Result: At the arraignment I was able to successfully negotiate a reduction of the OVI charge to a charge of Physical Control of a Vehicle While Intoxicated. The reduced charge is not a moving violation and, therefore, the client did not get any points on his license from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).

Richland County, Ohio – OVI, Minor Misdemeanor

Charge: Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol (OVI), First Degree Misdemeanor (maximum 180 days in jail and $1,000 fine); Failure to Control, Minor Misdemeanor (maximum $150 fine).

Facts: Client was involved in a one car accident near Mansfield, Ohio. Law enforcement responded to the crash scene and subjected client to a series of field sobriety tests to determine if he was drunk or had been drinking and driving. Client was arrested for drunk driving and took a breathalyzer test which yielded a result that was below .08% and within the legal limit. Despite the results of the client’s chemical test, the State pursued the charges.

Result: I successfully negotiated a plea-bargain agreement in which the State reduced the OVI charge to a Minor Misdemeanor charge of Reckless Operation in exchange for the client’s plea of guilty to the charge of Failure to Control and the reduced charge of Reckless Operation. Client was ordered to pay a fine of $150 on each charge.

Franklin County, Ohio – Disorderly Conduct, Fourth Degree Misdemeanor

Charge: Disorderly Conduct, Fourth Degree Misdemeanor (maximum 30 days in jail and $250 fine).

Facts: Client was charged after he was observed walking on a public street in Columbus, Ohio, allegedly under the influence of alcohol and repeatedly disobeying verbal commands of police officers to keep out of a public street and return to the sidewalk.

Result: Case dismissed with an order for client to pay court costs only.

Franklin County, Ohio – Fleeing & Eluding Police, First Degree Misdemeanor

Charge: Fleeing and Eluding Police, First Degree Misdemeanor (maximum 180 days in jail and $1,000 fine and Mandatory license suspension from 3 years to life with no driving privileges permitted during the first 3 years); and Reckless Operation, Third Degree Misdemeanor (maximum 60 days in jail and $500 fine, and a discretionary license suspension).

Facts: Client was riding his motorcycle on the freeway at a high rate of speed. A law enforcement who was getting onto the freeway saw Client speeding and attempted to catch up with Client and pull him over. The law enforcement officer called for the support of a police helicopter after he was unable to catch Client on his motorcycle. The helicopter unit assisted the law enforcement officer on the ground in catching Client. Client was arrested and charged with fleeing and eluding police and reckless operation. The entire incident was captured on the cruiser audio and video. The law enforcement officer can be heard telling Client that it was suspect as to whether he was actually attempting to run from the police and that it was possible that Client didn’t know the officer was attempting to pull him over.

After viewing the police video I spoke with the assistant prosecutor and attempted to convince the State of Ohio to dismiss the fleeing and eluding charge against Client; however, the State of Ohio was unwilling to do so and the case was set for trial.

Result: The case went to trial. After discussing the matter at length with Client, he decided to waive his right to a jury trial and instead try the case directly to the Judge. Client was facing the possibility of losing his driver’s license for a period of 3 years to life with no privileges permitted if he was convicted of the offense of Fleeing and Eluding. After a trial that lasted several days, the Judge found Client not-guilty of the charge of Fleeing and Eluding and guilty of the charge of Reckless Operation. Client was fined and the Judge suspended his license for only a period of 30 days.

April/2015 – Westerville, Ohio Mayor’s Court – OVI Dismissed

Client was pulled over at 2:00 a.m. in Westerville, Ohio for failure to use a turn signal and for a marked lanes violation. Client admitted to drinking 1 beer and was removed from his vehicle by the officer and was required to submit to field sobriety tests. The cruiser video demonstrated that client performed near flawlessly on the field sobriety tests. Nonetheless, he was arrested and was taken to the Westerville, Ohio Police Department where he submitted to a breath test. The client’s test results demonstrated that client was being truthful about drinking only 1 beer. However, the officers then began to suspect that the client had been consuming drugs and required that he submit to a urine test. The urine test result demonstrated that the client did not have any drugs in his system. After convincing the prosecuting attorney that he would not be able to convict my client for an OVI / DUI offense, he agreed to dismiss the OVI / DUI charge against my client.

April/2015 – Franklin County Municipal Court – OVI Reduced to Physical Control

Client was pulled over by a Columbus Police Officer after he was caught driving the wrong way down a one way street. Client was removed from the car and submitted to field sobriety tests at the request of the officer. Client was ultimately arrested after he allegedly performed poorly on field sobriety tests. I was able to negotiate a plea to a reduced charge of Physical Control and I saved the client from an OVI / DUI conviction, from serving 3 days in jail and from receiving 6 points on his license with the BMV.

January/2015 – Delaware County Municipal Court – OVI Reduced to Physical Control

The client was pulled over on U.S. Route 23 for allegedly failing to yield to another vehicle while making a turn. The client denied drinking any alcohol; however, the trooper removed her from her vehicle, because he said that it smelled like perfume in her vehicle. The client performed one of the standardized field sobriety tests, but she refused the other two tests at the request of the trooper. She was ultimately arrested and taken to the Ohio State Highway Patrol Post in Delaware where she refused to submit to a breathalyzer test. The client was charged with an OVO offense in the Delaware Municipal Court. She was employed by the United States Army and she was concerned that an OVI offense would cause her to lose her position of employment. She also had an OVI reduced to a charge of Physical Control several years earlier. After working the case for a considerable period of time, I was able to obtain a plea offer to a reduced charge of Physical Control and the client was able to keep her job after accepting the plea offer.

December/2013 – Franklin County Municipal Court – Not Guilty Verdict in OVI Trial

The client was pulled over on I-71 in Franklin County in the early morning hours during a major construction project that accounted for major detours and partial road closures while construction crews worked. The project created a mass amount of confusion for travelers, especially those not familiar with the area. The City Prosecutor’s Office would not make a deal in the case, because the client had previously been arrested for an OVI offense and had pleaded guilty to a lesser charge. The client elected to go to trial on the OVI charge, and evidence of his prior conviction to a reduced charge did not come into evidence. After conducting a trial over the course of 3 afternoons, the jury rendered a verdict of NOT GUILTY on all charges!